Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Gold’

Jonathan Duhamel responds to Hachem’s Comments on WSOP Ambassadorship

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

One subject that’s frequently come up this year is the level of responsibility that WSOP Main Event champions bear in regard to making poker fun/inviting. Joe Hachem is the one who kicked this discussion off when he said that Main Event champs need to be ambassadors for the game. He specifically called out Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang for “destroying the legacy of the world champion.”

He didn’t elaborate, but we can only assume that Hachem thinks both players have done a poor job of promoting poker after winning the Main Event. The Aussie may also think that Gold’s ME bracelet being auctioned off and Yang’s tax troubles have further tarnished what it means to be a champ.

In any case, 2010 WSOP Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel recently gave his take on ME champs and young players in general. Writing from his PokerStars blog, Duhamel doesn’t totally agree with Hachem, but he does point out that everybody bears some kind of responsibility in making poker fun and keeping recreational players around. He wrote the following two excerpts in his post:

Joe mentioned Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang in his comments (who won in 2006 and 2007) and how those two kind of disappeared from the poker scene after winning their titles, but to me that’s not necessarily good or bad. Sometimes a career in poker is not for everyone, especially for guys who have other jobs or families as can be the case for players who are a little older. Not everyone who wins the WSOP Main Event wants to tour all of the time or continue playing tournaments, and that is absolutely their choice.

(cont’d later) So Joe’s making a call to everyone — Main Event champions, young players, and those with more experience, too — to keep in mind when playing live to be friendly and do what we can to make sure everyone is having fun. Obviously the recreational players aren’t going to come back if they don’t have fun, and that hurts not just them but everyone.

Duhamel also cited posts that he liked from Daniel Negreanu and Phil Galfond, two more guys who present broader visions for what can keep poker entertaining.

The overall takeaway from Duhamel’s post is that all successful pros need to work at keeping both profits and fun in mind. After all, if the recreational players don’t keep coming back, the dead money drives up in poker and you’ll have less available profits, smaller game selection and a poker world that looks more like 2001.

Joe Hachem thinks “Poker is Dying” – Is He Right?

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Earlier this week, 2005 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Hachem discussed the current state of poker during the Aussie Millions. And what he had to say about poker wasn’t exactly glowing.

After reflecting on past WSOP Main Event winners, which included ripping on Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang for ruining the champions’ legacy, he expressed his opinion that “poker is dying.” The reason why he believes this? Because Hachem thinks that the game is no longer fun for amateurs, with “young geniuses” bumhunting all of the fish and not offering up any interesting conversation.

The Aussie also mentioned how there are less Antonio Esfandiari’s out there, or rather guys whom the fish love to play with, even when they’re losing money. He added that watching poker on television is “like watching paint dry” because of the lack of personalities today. Furthermore, poker TV shows no longer focus on a pro’s style, personality or what they’re like away from the table. He closed by saying that some of the young ME champs like Ryan Riess and Greg Merson need to think about all of this since they’re ambassadors to the game.

So is Hachem right about everything that he said? You can’t argue with the point that poker is full of bumhunters these days, who play seek and destroy with the fish. The game also features less dynamic grinders who make poker more enjoyable to watch on TV.

But on the other hand, nothing Hachem said is an original idea. He’s just another person to jump on the fact that poker has transitioned into a more strategy-focused, mathematical game, where you either pour hours into becoming great, or you lose your bankroll and dignity.

As for if poker is dying, well, global online numbers suggest that plenty of people are still interested in playing. And this should continue as new markets open up across the world. But the live realm is still a big part of poker, and if famous pros don’t start developing some personality and social skills at the table, it will eventually hamper online poker too.

Royal Poker Tournament claims Winner will earn $50m

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Think Antonio Esfandiari’s $18.3 million prize in the 2012 WSOP Big One for One Drop was huge? Then perhaps you haven’t heard about the proposed $1 million buy-in Royal Poker Challenge, which is set to pay $50 million to the winner.

Okay, so if you’re having a hard time believing this one, you aren’t alone. After all, the largest poker prize before Esfandiari’s huge score was the $12 million that Jamie Gold collected in the 2012 WSOP Main Event. But according to this press release, Royal Poker Challenge is very serious about the matter.

48 players have allegedly signed up for this tournament, which will be held in Sydney, Australia on March 30th. And members of the British, Danish and Monaco royal families are supposed to participate in the festivities too. Their role will be to serve as ambassadors for the game and, if they win money, donate the cash to charity.

Dave Chen, director of the Royal Challenge, spoke about this upcoming event by saying, “Poker is a true game that cuts across all class and income barriers. It tests skills, nerves and courage in a way that’s incomparable to other card games. There is no higher drama and examination of character and personality than a high stakes poker game. With the splashing 50 million dollar prize, in the remarkable city of Sydney, this should be an historical event indeed.”

This all sounds great and everything, but there’s just one problem: no names have been released on who’s playing. As if this tournament isn’t already shrouded in enough mystery, we don’t even get a glimpse at the participants. And if the press release is correct, we may never know the “high profile Hollywood celebrities” and “wealthy and successful individuals” who front the $1 million buy-in.

As the PR states, “All participants value privacy, so Mr. Chen is primarily focused on providing a secure and private environment for this unique tournament.” Well, so much for finding out who the winner is and if they indeed get $50 million.

Jamie Gold Busto? Selling WSOP Bracelet

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

People have been wondering for years if 2006 WSOP Main Event Jamie Gold is busto. And the poker world is only going to further buy into this rumor now that Gold is selling his 2006 Main Event bracelet through an auctioneer.

The bracelet is being sold through Heritage Auctions, which dubs themselves as “The World’s Largest Collectibles Auctioneer.” The bidding will be open on July 13th, 2013 and the auction happens from August 1st-2nd. Heritage provides a lengthy description of the product on the sale page, including the following excerpt:

The bracelet features 259 stones including over seven carats of diamonds and 120 grams of white and yellow gold. Rubies are inset to create the red of the heart and diamond suits, while a sapphire represents the spade and three black diamonds the clubs. The clasp is stamped “14K.” Fine condition. An absolutely amazing representation from one of the most talked about WSOP events in history.

It’s hard telling how much this bracelet will sell for. The only true comparison we have is when 2008 Main Event champ Peter Eastgate sold his bracelet on eBay. Scottish millionaire and philanthropist William Haughey bought the hardware for $147,500. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that proceeds from Eastgate’s bracelet sale went to charity, whereas Gold’s bracelet is likely being sold for his benefit.

Jamie Gold first gained international poker fame after winning the 2006 Main Event along with $12 million. The $12 million payout is the largest WSOP ME payday in history, and the second biggest tournament score of all-time. Unfortunately for Gold, he didn’t get the full amount after settling a lawsuit with Crispin Leyser (undisclosed amount) over a Bodog staking arrangement. He also donked off a great deal of money while playing against some of the world’s best players on High Stakes Poker.

One more point worth making is that Gold has failed to earn much additional revenue through poker since ’06. He only has $150k in tournament winnings since winning the Main Event.

Greg Raymer wins third HPT Title, proves Longevity

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Winning the WSOP Main Event is by no means a recipe for long-term success. Jerry Yang, Jamie Gold and Robert Varkonyi are all prime examples of this point. However, there are also plenty of ME champions who have made a nice career out of poker including Greg Raymer.

The Raleigh, North Carolina native added yet another big accolade to his career by recently winning his third Heartland Poker Tour title. Raymer beat out a 185-player field to win HTP Altoona along with a $72,089 payout. He defeated Chad Lawson heads-up to secure the title, and you can see the complete final table results below:

1. Greg Raymer – $72,089
2. Chad Lawson – $41,771
3. Craig Casino – $26,275
4. Ben Stroh – $22,233
5. Ed Sinnett – $16,978
6. Josh Birkenbuel – $14,526

What’s truly impressive about Raymer’s HTP titles is that they’ve all come within the past few months. Before we continue discussing how great this accomplishment is, take a closer look at the three Heartland wins:

2012 HPT Route 66 – 1st place, $71,875
2012 HPT St. Louis – 1st place, $121,973
2012 HPT Altoona – 1st place, $72,089

After winning three HPT tournaments in a single year, Raymer becomes the only player to do so. In addition to this, he’s also the only person other than Jeremy Dresch to win three HPT events overall.

These wins are just the tip of the iceberg because Greg Raymer has truly proven the test of time by winning $7,285,094 in live poker tournaments. Some of the most notable tourney finishes in Raymer’s career include a third place effort in the 2009 40th Anniversary event ($775k), 25th place in the 2005 WSOP Main Event ($305k), and of course his 2004 WSOP Main Event victory ($5 million).

Besides his playing career, Raymer has gained considerable respect for his involvement with the Poker Players Alliance. Going further, he’s done a lot of fighting for players’ rights and is an adamant supporter of legal online poker. Hopefully all of his hard work in this department will pay off someday!

Antonio Esfandiari wins $18.35m – Does Winnings List have any Meaning?

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

The biggest poker news of the week is no doubt Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari winning the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament. He navigated through a 48-player field and on towards victory as much of the poker world watched with intent interest. And a huge reason for all the interest was the $18,346,673 first place prize on the line!

Once Esfandiari finished Sam Trickett off in heads-up play, he was the recipient of this insane fortune….or at least he and his backers were. Seeing as how The Magician sold a lot of his shares in order to meet the hefty buy-in and cut down on variance, he likely received less than 50% of the $18.35 million. However, the full amount goes down in the record books and vaults him towards the top of the all-time live poker tournament winnings list with $23,245,828.

This is certainly nice for the headlines and could definitively bring some more recreational players into the game. However, it completely obliterates any sort of relevancy that the all-time tournament winnings list used to have.

These days, the tourney winnings list doesn’t mean much to a lot of players because they can’t compete with top-level pros who have lots of backing. Furthermore, events like the Big One for One Drop are more like glorified sit and go’s than anything since only a small number of players are competing, yet ridiculous amounts of money are up for grabs.

So how should we view the poker tournament winnings list in today’s era? Well it’s a fun little thing to look at from time to time, but you certainly can’t measure one’s overall tourney success from this. That said, there are still some very fine players towards the top of the winnings list – it’s just that the average grinder will never have an opportunity to compete with them.

Big One for One Drop Results

1. Antonio Esfandiari — $18,346,673
2. Sam Trickett — $10,112,001
3. David Einhorn — $4,352,000
4. Phil Hellmuth — $2,645,333
5. Guy Laliberté — $1,834,666
6. Brian Rast — $1,621,333
7. Bobby Baldwin — $1,408,000
8. Richard Yong — $1,237,333
9. Mike Sexton — $1,109,333

Stories to watch in 2012 WSOP

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Right now is the best time of the year to be a poker fan since the 2012 WSOP has officially begun. And as always, it promises to be yet another amazing event filled with big winners and memorable stories. But a few stories will no doubt stand out above the rest, and here are some tales that we think will be the most prominent.

Phil Hellmuth hunting for his 12th Bracelet

Once again, Hellmuth going after his elusive and record-extending twelfth WSOP gold bracelet will no doubt be a hot topic of discussion. Just the fact that the Poker Brat finished 61st in Event #2 was already a big story, so imagine how much he’ll dominate the poker headlines by making a deeper run.

$1 Million Buy-in Tournament

We’ve already heard a ton of talk about the Big One for One Drop since its $1 million buy-in is a record. Another record will also fall when the winner is crowned because the top prize is expected to be worth between $15-$18 million (depending on the number of entrants). Jamie Gold currently holds the record for the largest poker tournament payout ($12 million), but don’t expect this mark to be standing in early July.

Viktor Blom playing in First WSOP

We’ve seen a lot of Viktor “Isildur1” Blom over the last few years since he’s such a successful online cash game player. However, this is the first look that we’ll have of the 21-year-old in the WSOP. Blom has had some tourney success already (PokerStars Caribbean Adventure High Roller title), and it will be interesting to see if he can expand on this.

Phil Ivey is Back

Ivey was sorely missed at the 2011 WSOP – as he supposedly sat out to protest Full Tilt Poker’s poor management before and after Black Friday. But he won’t be skipping the world’s largest poker event this year since he’s already competed in a couple of tournaments. You can bet that people will be watching with great interest to see how the world’s best all-around poker player performs this year.

WSOP $1 Million Buy-in to break Records

Friday, April 13th, 2012

What began as a vision several months ago has become reality since the WSOP $1 million buy-in tournament is definitely going to happen from July1st-3rd. Dubbed “The Big One for One Drop,” this tourney already has 30 players confirmed with some of the biggest names in poker having made a commitment.

But before we get into the confirmed players, it’s worth mentioning that this tournament is already guaranteed to set two records. First off, the WSOP $1 million buy-in tournament will feature the biggest buy-in ever; the previously largest tourney was the $250k Aussie Millions High Roller.

As for the second record, the 30 confirmed players and interesting prize pool distribution will see the winner walk away with almost $12.3 million of the prize pool. Assuming this happens as planned, it would easily beat the $12 million that Jamie Gold received for winning the 2006 WSOP Main Event.

With such a massive prize involved, it’s no wonder why the top names in poker will be entering this event. Some of those confirmed include Gus Hansen, Patrik Antonius, Erik Seidel, Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan, Tom Dwan, Tony G, Dan Shak, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and Jonathan Duhamel.

In addition to this stellar lineup of players, there will also be some prominent businessmen joining the tourney. These guys include Guy Laliberté, Bobby Baldwin (former player too), Phil Ruffin, Andy Beal, Sean O’Donnell, Richard Yong, Paul Phua and Arnaud Mimran.

The Big One for One Drop will see 10% of the buy-ins go towards Laliberté’s One Drop foundation, while a little under $27 million is available for the actual tourney. We still have plenty of time before July 1st, so both the number of participants and prize money could grow before the tournament starts. But even if it stays the same, we’re still in for quite a special event come WSOP time!